Can men and women just be friends?

posted 4 months ago in Beehive
Post # 31
Member
4392 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have many casual guy friends and two of my dearest, closest friends are men. Darling Husband has some good friends who are women.

I have never understood what gender has to do with friendship… my male friends are people I connected with as I do with any friend, but I don’t recall ever being attracted to them in a physical or romantic way. That would be as odd to me as being attracted to my female friends (as a straight woman).

Post # 32
Member
170 posts
Blushing bee

Men and women can absolutely be friends. I have male friends and my Fiance has tons of female friends. Even though he works in a typically male industry, at his last job he was on a project with mostly females, poor guy would have had a hard time with your logic. I’m am great friends with many of his female friends, his best one came to my bachelorette (and I went to hers). 

I work in a male dominated industry so I would have no work friends if I couldn’t be friends with the opposite sex. I have no problem going out for drinks after work or traveling for work with them and doing fun things after we are done our day. It’s all just for fun.

Post # 33
Member
908 posts
Busy bee

One of my absolute relationship dealbreakers was having a spouse who wouldn’t let me have male friends. My entire group of friends is predominantly male, and my very best friend is a man I’ve been friends with for 20+ years. I’m soundly of the mind that it is sexist to think men and women can’t be friends without wanting more. My husband has a good girlfriend whom he hangs out with solo all of the time, because they enjoy eachothers company, and I trust him wholly. 

If you genuinely have trust in your relationship, it just isn’t an issue.

Post # 34
Member
638 posts
Busy bee

Maybe a lot of this depends on what you consider friendship. People you enjoy talking to on ocassion? People you invite over for dinner parties? People you go out alone with to the movies or a bar…? Personally I draw the line at solo “dates”, and nurturing close bonds where really intimate details are shared. There needs to be boundaries, otherwise it’d just make me feel like a FWIB. I don’t want to compete with anyone for “companion status”. 

Also, I’m surprised at how many Bees say their best friends are male…shouldn’t your spouse be your best friend?

Post # 35
Member
996 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Men and women can ABSOLUTELY be friends. I lived with a man (I’m a woman) for 4 years. Neither of us wanted to hook up with eachother and my now-fiance and I were dating while I was living with him and there were 0 issues. My fiance has women friends that he spends time with and even work wives and it doesn’t bother me in the least.

Post # 36
Member
3590 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

kiram :  Also, I’m surprised at how many Bees say their best friends are male…shouldn’t your spouse be your best friend?

Why should they?  Some people might consider their partner their best friend and others don’t. People need more social interaction than their partner alone so there is nothing wrong with having a best friend outside your romantic relationship. 

Post # 37
Member
279 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

This is a huge dealbreaker for me. I have close friends who are male and female both, and I have no issue spending close time with either of them. I dated a guy once who got really shitty about the fact that one of my closest friends is a straight male, and to me it really spoke of an intense lack of trust on his part. Turns out he was insecure and toxic in a lot of other ways but that was just the first one I noticed.  

Currently, I could literally have sex with anyone I want. But I don’t. Why? Because I’m not sexually attracted to everyone on earth, and I value my friends for what they bring to my life platonically rather than trying to shoehorn everyone into a romantic/sexual role. I can appreciate people for filling other roles in my life. Going through the world treating everyone as a huge potential crush sounds absolutely exhausting.

Every couple gets to set their own boundaries, and as long as all parties involved agree, I don’t have a problem with it. But I’m with the people standing here going “So do pan folks just never get to be around anyone but their partner, or …?

Post # 38
Member
1181 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

I have about an equal mix of male and female friends. I don’t know what fiancé has because I do not care in the slightest what gender his friends are. I do know that he has friends that are female. 

If your husband was bi and had a close “friend” who he was attracted to and was “the one that got away” would you be ok with that? I think for most people gender restrictions are just an approximation for not being in basically an open relationship where you are both friends with people you want to be with. So why not just use the real issue as a rule?

No, you can’t be friends with someone who you want to be with- and that’s not my rule; that’s a limitation of the physical universe. You could be single af and you can not in fact be friends with someone who you want to be with. That hasn’t stopped people from trying, but a friendship is wholly platonic (not just not acting on it) so it’s not something you can actually do. 

So I think it’s perfect reasonable to have a “you can’t pretend to be friends with people you want to be with” rule, and also that you shouldn’t really have to State that. Using gender as a stand-in for that is useless and harmful imo. 

(And you shouldn’t try to be friends with people who want to be with you, not because you’re in a relationship, but because it’s just cruel.) 

I feel like I need to disclose that I also personally don’t care about friends who had a past that is solidly in the past. I care about what you are NOW and if that’s friends then we’re good. But at the same time I find people who have this restriction to be reasonable. 

Post # 39
Member
695 posts
Busy bee

I think it depends on what we are talking about when we say “friends”…all these bees who have 20 male friends and whose husbands have 20 female friends… what does that mean?  Facebook friends?  Friends you see in a group setting?  Friends you talk to every once in a while?  Close, intimate friendships where you go on solo hangout sessions with that friend?  I just don’t know what that means.  It really depends on so many factors.  My fiancée really doesn’t have close female friends. He has acquaintances (I guess you could call them “friends” if you really stretch the definition of friend) that maybe he’ll catch up with, or see in a group setting, or chit chat with.  People he had known forever.  But he’s not deeply emotionally connected to a female friend. And if he suddenly developed a close female friend, I’d probably have a problem with that. Likewise I have male friends/acquaintances that I might chit chat with occasionally but I don’t hang out with or share deep dark secrets with. I noticed that once I had a serious boyfriend (my fiancée) my male friendships (that were never that deep to begin with) kind of fell by the wayside.  I personally always felt that there was an element of flirtatiousness or interest in my male “friendships” that would be inappropriate to indulge once I was committed to someone. But yeah, I’ll catch up with them over Instagram or something and it’s nice but ultimately meaningless to my overall life. I do have a close guy friend that I made in the past year and we will text and hang out solo but he’s gay!  So we are definitely not interested in each other.  And I can’t really see myself entering into a new close male friendship at this point. I think if you have existing close friendships that predate when you get married (as some bees have said they have in their lives) then maybe it’s different.  I don’t know the right answer because it’s not really a factor in my life. But I’m sure many couples have close friends of all genders and it works out just fine. So yes it is totally possible. 

Post # 40
Hostess
6850 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2019

Yes.

 

Wow that was easy! Next question….

Post # 41
Member
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

I absolutely think men and women can just be friends. Everyone has their own boundaries in their relationships, though, and I think their partner should respect those boundaries or admit they cannot, in which case the two are incompatible and should part ways.

My SO doesn’t has female friends, but no one he is close enough to that he would hang out with her one-on-one. He doesn’t have any guy friends that he hangs out with one-on-one either, really.

I would be okay with my SO hanging out one-on-one with a woman, but under certain circumstances. Like if they’re going out drinking, I like to drink as well, so why wouldn’t I be invited to go along? But if they’re hanging out to play video games, or to go golfing or something else I wouldn’t want to do, or if I’m just lazy or busy or whatever, I’d be fine with them going alone. It’s the same with his male friends, though. He has a group of guys he hangs out with, when they go to one of their friend’s houses to play video games, I don’t go. When they go out for beer and wings, I usually come along, because those are things I enjoy too and there’s no reason I shouldn’t join them, plus they’ve become my friends too.

Post # 42
Member
1272 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2020

I have friends that are both male and female. Never had a problem with it. Right now, in college, I even live with two male friends, along with two female friends. I hang out with them one-on-one all the time, as does my SO. It’s strictly platonic between us and has never been an issue with my relationship.

What if I were bisexual? Then should I just not be allowed to have ANY friends if I’m in a relationship!? Or can we acknowledge that everyone is responsible and in control of their sexual thoughts/actions, which means if they can’t act appropriately with friends of any gender, they should not be in a committed relationship with someone else.

 

Mature, committed partners won’t make friends of the opposite sex a problem, just as mature, secure partners won’t feel the need to control their partner’s friend list.

Post # 43
Member
914 posts
Busy bee

I think it has the potential to become dangerous and cross lines. But it all really depends on the people involved. Temptation is something I would personally not want in my life and I think it is perhaps why lots of people don’t think men and woman can be just friends. 

I think the key here is, are there boundaries in place? 

Here would be my concerns if we are talking about my boyfriend or husband and a girl friend of his:

– do they hangout alone? I’m not ok with them hanging out alone in private. Should be in public at restaurants etc. 

– do they confide in each other about life hardships? Specifically I don’t want them discussing relationship problems with each other. I think that easily slips into an affair. The only person my boyfriend/ husband should be talking to about our relationship is me and maybe his family. Even if it doesn’t turn physical, an emotional affair is very tempting. 

I think as long as boundaries are in place men and woman can be friends. I personally would have a problem if my boyfriend/ husband had a best friend who was a girl. See it would bother me because I want my boyfriend/ husband to confide in me. I want to be his best friend. I don’t mind him having a guy best friend that he confides in, but I don’t want to feel like I am competing with another girl in his life. I am lucky that thus far I haven’t dated any guys who have girl friends. My current boyfriend has a wonderful mom, sister, and plenty of great female family members in his life that he could go to. He has no interest in having other girls as friends and I’m good with that. 

I wanted to add: all the guys in my life ( that weren’t gay) that I have tried to be just friends with, always ended up hitting on me. I have a good guy friend who is gay I met at fashion school but we talk infrequently as I live far away now.  I learned pretty young that finding a guy who is straight who really just wants friendship is pretty darn rare. 

Post # 44
Member
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2019

I believe that men and women can be just friends. I work in a profession with a majority of men and I have made friends with a bunch of them.

Post # 45
Member
900 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I have always had male friends as well as female friends. Darling Husband and I share many friends as well. I play in a band with Darling Husband and 3 other guys, who are some of my best friends.

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